Monday, February 26, 2007



Before any progressive decides to jump on the Chuck Hagel for President bandwagon, I suggest they look at the man's long career in public office. Let's start with his voting record. The DMI looked at his votes on issues affecting the lives of the middle class and found he has a perfect score-- a perfect F, a zero. He never waivers; he always votes the extreme right wing line; always. Whether you're talking about legislation that favors corporations over workers and consumers, legislation to save destroy the environment, backing Bush's agenda of shifting the burdens of taxation away from the wealthy and onto the middle class, destroying women's right to choice (or even to acquire contraceptives), or undermining workers and restricting labor unions, Hagel is consistent and unwavering; no one is worse in the entire U.S. Senate. His scores on all these issues are perfect zeroes.

Oh, but you like him because he's been speaking out on Iraq. OK, fair enough; I do too. His voting record, on the other hand, tells a different story. You don't like Hillary Clinton's Iraq War voting record? (Neither do I.) Hagel's is infinitely worse. Two weeks ago he voted with Bush and Cheney to prohibit even the nonbinding resolution to come up for a vote! Before that he had, of course, voted with Bush and Cheney on all 6 of the roll calls on October 10 and 11, 2002 to authorize the use of force against Iraq (and, in Cheney's mind, the known universe). Beyond that, Hagel voted with the Bush Regime 25 times out of the 29 times Iraq War matters came before the Senate between October, 2002 and May, 2005. He does talk a good game, I'll give you that. (By the way, for the sake of comparison, Clinton voted the Bush Regime line 7 times on those same 29 roll calls.)

Today's USA Today has a puff piece touting Hagel as an antiwar unity candidate, who might run with a Democrat. The only Democrat whose record is in sync with his own, Ben Nelson (the most Republican Democrat by far) is constitutionally ineligible, since the president and vice-president can't be from the same state (unless, of course they are Bush and Cheney and the Constitution is just a meaningless piece of paper).

"He said that if he ran he would seek the Republican nomination. Yet he's also talking up Unity08. That's a plan by a bipartisan group of political operatives to draft a bipartisan presidential ticket on the Internet and offer voters an alternative to the Democratic and Republican candidates next year." One can only imagine the collection of reactionary monstrosities in that bipartisan group: the Liebermen, Nelsons, and Landrieus joined with a clutch of rubber stamp Republicans frightened of their state's voters. A perfect way to continue reactionary governance even with massive defections from the Republican Party everywhere in the country (except Utah, if you recognize that benighted place as part of the country).

"If I decide to get into this, I would run not just to make a statement," said Hagel last week. "I think it's a very intriguing enterprise," when asked about the Unity08 schtik, recognizing the general voter dissatisfaction with the two corporately-owned Money Parties (of which Hagel is, and has always been, a member in good standing).

The USA Today article, through shear ignorance and laziness, I suspect, then goes on to whitewash Hagels' Iraq War record, as though he voted with the Bush Regime once and has opposed them ever since. The writer, Kathy Kiely, should lose her journalism license. Oh... they don't have licenses? That explains it.
Despite his own stated misgivings, Hagel voted with 76 other senators in October 2002 to give Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq. He said he did so after being assured by the president and his advisers that "he was going to use that leverage to get the diplomatic effort on track."

Since then, Hagel has become a prominent critic of Bush's policies in Iraq and the Middle East generally. This culminated in an impassioned speech last month in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing when he challenged his colleagues to take a stand on a resolution he co-sponsored disapproving of the president's planned troop increase in Iraq. "If you wanted a safe job, go sell shoes," he said.

And his voting record? It takes less than 60 seconds to find. I'd suggest a rewrite of the first sentence in the second paragraph to reflect reality, rather than hype and spin. Does USA Today care about reality? It's only the most important issue facing our country today. It's not like I'm even asking the newspaper to go back and investigate how Hagel pioneered electronic voter fraud when he first ran for election in what turned out to be a dress rehearsal for Bush's seizure of the U.S. government. Anyway, after you're finished wrapping your fish or lining your birdcage, you might want to read the GQ story and take a closer look at some of the research I pointed out at the links.

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At 7:20 AM, Anonymous teach said...

This is the Trojan Horse I have stewed over for a long time. I think that he is beatable, the more I hear, but it will be a tough race to run against him.

At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is like the talk about McCain back in 2001 when the Senate went over to the Democratic Party after the defection of Senator Jeffords. The Democratic Leadership seriously tried to get McCain to join their caucus, given that Bush and especially Karl Rove tried to punish and cut at the knees anyone who was involved with the McCain Campaign in 2000.

Switching Parties/Caucuses is always dangerous for someone like Jeffords, McCain, Hagel or people who actually did it, like Shelby and Nighthorse Campbell back in 1994. Their former party's finance wing hound them for the loans they gave them, the former party goes out of their way to give them the shaft on anything that the former party member needs to do for his state. The only person who has been truly welcome into their new party has been Shelby.

Hagel may agree with the Dems about Iraq, but it seems nothing else, and there is no way he could get the Dem nomination for President. He is from a small state, used to own or run a voting machines company, has voted lock stock and smoking barrel for Republican's economic and social programs. The political knife fights going on between Hillary and Barack would be child's play if Hagel join the Dems, solely to run for President. He would be use as a punching bag.

However, I admire any politician to go on their own as he does on Iraq. He comes across that he knows what he is talking about when it comes about the US Military and US policy in Iraq.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Did I ever email you about the Unity08 nonsense? I checked their site out two weeks ago. They had done some kind of poll to see what things looked like. You'll never guess who the top 2 finishers were. I'll first make a disclaimer. All the leftie pinko commie unwashed massed could have ginned the results, but the top two finishers were Obama and Feingold. I could see Obama, but Feingold number 2? That really made my day, being a Feingold guy myself. I think even the voters in that poll didn't like the Republicans .. lol


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